A roadmap of haustorium morphogenesis in parasitic plants

Gwendolyn K. Kirschner, Ting Ting Xiao, Muhammad Jamil, Salim Al-Babili, Vinicius Lube, Ikram Blilou*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Parasitic plants invade their host through their invasive organ, the haustorium. This organ connects to the vasculature of the host roots and hijacks water and nutrients. Although parasitism has evolved independently in plants, haustoria formation follows a similar mechanism throughout different plant species, highlighting the developmental plasticity of plant tissues. Here, we compare three types of haustoria formed by the root and shoot in the plant parasites Striga and Cuscuta. We discuss mechanisms underlying the interactions with their hosts and how different approaches have contributed to major understanding of haustoria formation and host invasion. We also illustrate the role of auxin and cytokinin in controlling this process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7034-7044
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of experimental botany
Issue number22
StatePublished - Dec 1 2023


  • Auxin
  • Cuscuta
  • cytokinin
  • haustoria
  • host
  • invasion
  • lateral roots
  • parasitic plant
  • Striga

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Plant Science


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